18 August 2013

Review: Sassy in Stilettos by Nana Malone

What they say: Smart mouthed and in charge, magazine editor, Micha Bennett, has learned the hard way to choose her career over love. When she’s up for the job of a lifetime, the competition becomes deadly fierce. To protect their best asset, her company hires the one person who’s ever put Micha on edge and threatens her sense of control.

Sexy, security consultant, Caleb Atkins, knows what he wants and it’s Micha Bennett. He just has to convince her she wants him too. With ugly shadows in his own past, he’ll die before he lets anything harm the woman he loves. Too bad Micha doesn’t think she needs his protection or his love.

Can Caleb convince Micha to let go of control long enough to fall in love? Or will fear and danger tear them apart?

Warning: Sexy, sass talking women will make you laugh, cry and want a pair of killer footwear.
Micha shifted uncomfortably in her seat, certain Jaya was trying to torture her. Why had Jaya insisted they all bring dates? All week Micha tried to rustle up a date but had come up empty. Eventually she’d stuffed her poor assistant into a monkey suit and told him he had to escort her. She’d rather have taken a bullet to the eyeball than show up alone tonight. Why the hell Jaya had opted to seat her next to Caleb during the rehearsal dinner was beyond her. And now she could feel him staring at her. Oh, he wasn’t blatant about it, a sly look here, a drifting glance there. Every time she moved, his knee nudged hers. She reached for her wine glass and grazed his arm. Every time accidental contact occurred, it sent electric jolts through her body, and her skin felt like she had a prickly heat rash.
Refocusing, she turned to her date. Smile pretty, Micha. Don’t be a bad host. She should at least make an effort. “So, Ryan, you were telling me you like rafting?” There, she’d made her effort.
Next to her, Caleb shifted in his seat and turned to face Ryan’s direction as her assistant told everyone about the class five rapids and his less-than-experienced trip buddies.
Without concentrating, she could actually feel Caleb’s breath, tickling her spine. Curse Jaya and Ricca for suggesting she wear her unruly curls up. Sure, they liked to wear their hair up because it gave their honeys easy access for nuzzling. Immediately, a memory flashed of her and Caleb on the dance floor the night they’d met. The way he’d leaned in to whisper to her that he wanted to take her out.
Wait for it. Ah, there it was—her body softened for him immediately, responding to the memory. God, she had to get laid and pronto, before she gave in and actually slept with Mr. Handsome as Sin.
Micha crossed and uncrossed her legs again.
When Caleb leaned in to whisper in her ear, a shiver stole down her back.
“Seriously, Micha, you need to stop moving around. Why are you so antsy?”
As if he didn’t know. She whispered back through a false smile, tight enough to crack her molars. “Why are you watching me so close, Atkins? See something you like?”
His answer was immediate. “Yes. But then, you already know that.”
The timber of his voice was low, and his words rolled over her like whiskey on a cold night. Hell, that man was sexy. She turned her attention to her date more resolutely. You will not sleep with Caleb Atkins. You. Will. Not. Sleep. With. Caleb. Atkins.
She met Ricca’s gaze across the table, and when her friend beamed at her, Micha couldn’t help but relax a little. Ricca was also blissfully in love. She had that totally sated been-on-honeymoon look on her face that all newlyweds wore. They weren’t married yet, but if Micha had to bet money, it was only a matter of time.
And as for Jaya, well, she’d found her Mr. Right. Alec was the perfect complement to her friend’s serious type-A personality. He actually forced her to have some fun. For years, that had been Micha’s job, but it was nice to see Jaya happy. Both her friends would tell her to date Caleb already. But it wasn’t that easy.
Micha hadn’t had a real relationship since leaving New York. Finding out she’d been living with a married man and that his wife was crazy enough to try and carve little chunks out of her, had sort of soured her on the whole happily ever after thing. And she would never forget how Simon hadn’t even bothered to try and see her or apologize. Her judgment had been all wrong about him, and she’d vowed she would never let herself be blinded by feelings again. No matter how genuine they may seem.
She’d dated plenty. But she never let any guy get too close. Even when she tried to let people in, it was like an invisible barrier repelled her from whoever she was with. She’d made pushing people away an art form. After what Simon had done to her, she had no intention of getting hurt like that again.
Add to that, Caleb wasn’t just any guy, but practically family. She wasn’t going anywhere near a relationship with him. If she messed with him, Alec and Beckett would be all up in her business. Everyone would. And that wasn’t in the playbook. Caleb was the kind of guy who wanted open and uncomplicated, and she was complicated as hell. When it didn’t work, it would be her fault.
She liked her privacy. She liked her freedom. Eventually, no matter how hot and heavy they were, she’d feel hemmed in, and then it would be messy and ugly for everyone. Especially me.
But maybe if she scratched that itch, she’d get Caleb out of her system.
Who was she kidding? Once wouldn’t be enough. He seemed like the slow lover type.
Micha shook her head, trying to get the image of him over her out of her head. Fantasies would get her nowhere.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review!
What I say: Sassy in Stilettos is the third book in Nana Malone's contemporary romance series. I hadn't read the previous two books before I started this one (I have since read them), but Sassy in Stilettos works well as a standalone book. Malone has carried characters over from previous instalments, but has shifted the main focus to Micha and Caleb.

Micha has been burnt by love and is absolutely against any form of a relationship. She does however really fancy bodyguard Caleb. The problem? Micha knows Caleb wants more from her and she's not willing to go there and risk their friendship or make their other friends chose between them. Scarred by mistakes in his past, Caleb is really protective of Micha and is determined to stop her running away from him and the life they could have together.

I enjoyed Micha's sass and she had me in hysterics at certain points. For a supposedly really together women, she's totally clueless. Sassy in Stilettos isn't simply a contemporary romance because there's a thriller/mystery element involved too. Malone has cleverly incorporated some dramatic (albeit a bit farfetched at times) elements, which adds tension to the story.

Sassy in Stilettos is a fun and short read (I took it on holiday and read it lazing around by the pool). There were a few typos, but I enjoyed the story and went back and read the first two books in the series.
3.5 - 4 Stars in my Sky!
My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • "So what, you're into bondage and domination or something? 'Cause I have to tell you there's no way I'm letting you tie me up." He barked a laugh. "Not exactly what I meant, but the thought of seeing you in handcuffs gives me all kinds of ideas."
  • "Buffy had Mr. Pointy. I have Mr. Slashy."
  • "So you're saying this is the sisterhood of the travelling stilettos?

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